How to become a make-up artist in New Zealand

1 July 2023
How to become a make-up artist in New Zealand


Why become a make-up artist?

Becoming a make-up artist provides a wide variety of career opportunities in New Zealand and worldwide. A qualification in makeup design is the first step to making your dreams come true.

Make-up artistry is an exciting and rewarding career choice where each day is different. You will get to meet and work with lots of different people in a range of workplace settings.

Learning to become a make-up artist teaches you skills in corrective and fashion make-up application, special effects for film and TV, period make-up, as well as giving you an insight into how to adapt and apply make-up trends. Most courses provide you with foundation skills in hairstyling and may offer airbrushing techniques.

Graduates find work within the film, TV, and fashion industries. You can become your own boss as a freelance make-up artist, find a job with production companies, or work for a cosmetic brand, or in store as a make-up artist and retail support.

Become a qualified make-up artist and step towards an exciting new career.

Alternative job titles

make-up artistry
special FX make-up
prosthetic make-up artist


Understanding the best way to become a qualified make-up artist in New Zealand looks complicated but is easy. Here are the steps you need to take to start your career as a make-up artist.

Step 1

Choose and enrol with a registered training provider.

Step 2

Complete a level 2 or 3 certificate program.

Step 3

Progress to level 4 certificate program.



Average Pay

$40k - $66k annually



Length of training

4 months - 2 years



Available jobs


*TradeMe Jobs, April 2022

  • Able to relate to people from a range of cultures and backgrounds

  • Adaptable and good at solving problems

  • Good listeners

  • Accurate, with good attention to detail

  • Reliable and organised

  • Able to work well in a team

  • Motivated, with initiative

  • Flexible to work weekends.

  • Make-up artist (MUA)

  • Special FX make-up artist

  • Prosthetic make-up artist

  • Freelance

  • Film and television

  • Fashion and editorial

  • Cosmetic brand specialist


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